Switzerland can be discovered by trains, buses, boats and scenic mountain trains. Use the Swiss half fare card to get one month’s of half-price travel, while children under 16 travel free of charge when accompanied by an adult who is a holder of a Swiss Family Card.
Exclusive limited-time Spring offer: use promo code 15SPRING19 to get NZ$75 off bookings of NZ$1075 or more, or 16SPRING19 to get NZ$130 off bookings of NZ$1450 or more. Offer ends 23 April 2019.
Swiss Half Fare Card
This card provides savings up to 50% off for travel on most trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland
- 50% discount on most trains, buses and boats for one month
- Issued as a paper document
- Discounts off 1st and 2nd class travel
- Free Swiss Family Card: Children under 16 travel for free with a parent or legal guardian
WING SHAN Y
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes can be booked for travel in one specific country or you can choose one of a few pre-selected country/region combinations. Extensive travel plans? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering train travel in 31 different countries - including Great Britain.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service selected, passenger type, and the number of rail travel days.
2. Reserve your seats
Most trains in Switzerland do not require reservations. You can simply board with your rail pass and take any open seat.
3. Activate and travel
Your pass was pre-validated at the time of booking, it is now valid for use for the duration you selected. You're all set and ready to explore.
More than just trains
Main discounts and bonuses in Swiss Half Fare Card
- 50% discount when travelling on board trains.
- 50% discount when using urban public transport in 75 towns.
- Free travel for children under 16, accompanied by a parent, holder of a Swiss Family Card.
From our travel community
You may also be interested in
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. I just landed in Europe. How do I get to the train station from the airport?
A. Whether you’re going straight to a train or to your hotel, you’ll generally find public transportation options from the airport to the center of town, where most train stations are located. Below is a list of airports that have rail connections (train or local subway/metro) to the main rail station:
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
15 minute train trip to Amsterdam Central Station
Stockholm Arlanda Airport
20 minute train trip to Stockholm Central Station
30 minute train to Barcelona Sants Station
Berlin Schoenefeld Airport
Birmingham International Airport
12-15 minute train trip to Birmingham New Street Station
28 minute train trip to Brussels Zuid/Midi Station
15 minute train trip to Cologne Central Station
Copenhagen Kastrup Airport
14 minute train trip from Copenhagen Airport to Copenhagen Central Station
Geneva Cointrin International Airport
7 minute train trip to the Geneva City Central Station
Glasgow Prestwick Airport
1 mile bus or taxi trip to Paisley Gilmour Station and then a 12-15 minute train trip to Glasgow
London Gatwick Airport
30 minute train trip to London Victoria Station
London Heathrow Airport
15 - 27 minute train trip to London Paddington Station
45 minute train trip to London St. Pancras Station
12 minute metro trip to Madrid Nuesvos Ministerios Metro Station
10 minute train trip to Malaga Torremolinos Station
Munich International Airport
41 - 46 minute train trip to Munich Main Train Station
Oslo Gardermoen Airport
19 - 22 minutes train trip to Oslo S Station
Paris Orly Airport
24 minutes train trip to Paris Austerlitz Station
Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport
30 minute train trip to Paris Gare du Nord Station
Porto – Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport
7-10 minute metro trip to Porto City Center Station
Rome Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport
30 minute train trip to Rome Termini Station
47 minute train trip to London Liverpool Station
Stuttgart Echterdingen Airport
30 minute train trip to Stuttgart Central
10 - 14 minute train trip to Zurich Central Station
Many other European airports have buses to the central or main rail stations. There are typically a minimum of two departures per hour, and travel times can vary from 15 minutes – 55 minutes depending on the city (and of course traffic en-route to the city center).
You can always check directly with your arrival airport for specific information regarding transfers to the city center. Most airports have websites with information on where to go to find a train or bus connection to the downtown area.
In addition, we encourage you to visit our Train Station pages to view information about services at the station and what airport links are available, if any, for a particular city.
Q. Do you offer student, family and/or senior discounts?
A. Yes. Rail Europe offers a wide range of train tickets and rail passes that provide discounts to children, youths, seniors or groups of people that travel together.
Discounted rates vary depending on the type of train ticket or rail pass you are purchasing, and are not always offered.
We do our best to provide you with the cheapest fares for your traveling party and get you the discounts you’re eligible for. This is why it’s important to accurately indicate the composition of your traveling party when requesting fares and schedules or rail pass prices from our website. You may also have to enter the age of certain travellers, so we can determine whether they’re eligible for certain age-related discounts.
Q. How can I contact Rail Europe prior to my departure to Europe?
A. Please send us a message from our Contact Us page and we will respond to you via email within 24 to 48 hours.
Q. I’ve written the wrong date on my rail pass travel calendar box. What should I do?
A. If the wrong date is written in the travel calendar box, you will need to enter the correct date in the next travel calendar box. Unfortunately, once the date has been entered in the travel calendar box, it cannot be corrected and there’s no way to recover that travel day on the rail pass. Be very careful when filling out the date on your rail pass as mistakes cannot be corrected. An altered travel date could be viewed as an attempt of fraud and could lead to fines or other penalties.
Q. Where can I find specific information regarding the services offered on the train I'll be taking?
A. We try to provide you with as many details about your train trip as possible. When you’re searching for train fares and schedules, click on the train numbers listed on the results page. Choose the class of service you prefer to sit in and you’ll be able to see all onboard services offered.
Q. How do I use a promo code?
A. Simply enter your valid promo code on the page where you enter your delivery information for your booking during checkout.
Q. How do I request an exchange through the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. To apply for an exchange under the Rail Protection Plan™, please contact us via our Contact Us page. Rail passes/train tickets/reservations/city passes/tours may be exchanged for the same or new products.
Q. I’ve noticed a big difference in the cost of seat reservations for different trains. Why?
A. Fares for reservations may vary greatly from one train to another. Unfortunately, we have no control over these prices as they’re set by each individual railroad.
Trains that have higher priced reservations are typically high speed, international trains such as Thalys or Eurostar, as well as night trains.
Various factors are considered by rail carriers when pricing reservations for rail pass holders. These factors can include: the technology used by the train (high speed or regular speed), the types of tracks the train travels on and their associated maintenance cost, the range of services and amenities offered on board, possible tolls incurred by the carriers depending on the train routing (such as tunnel crossing tolls) and partnerships between rail carriers for the operation of cross border trains.
In addition, there are also specific costs associated with traveling on a night train that may include food for dinner and breakfast, as well as cabin maintenance costs (sheets, etc…). Since these costs are not associated with travel on day trains, day train reservations generally cost less.
Q. Can I get the address and phone number for the train station?
A. We offer specific train station information and maps with approximate locations of many of the most popular train stations in Europe.
In general, you’ll find that stations are centrally located and conveniently reached via public transportation and most airport-to-city links.
Q. Are there restrooms on the train?
A. Yes! Restrooms can be found on all trains in Europe. Restrooms are easily accessible on all trains and are frequently marked with the letters WC (Water Closet). They’re usually found at the front or back of each train car and typically include a sink, toilet, and locking door.